DWS scores first Dubai-London Sukuk

Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) advised the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) on the first Sukuk to be listed on both the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

DIB’s $750m (£382m) debut issuance was issued via the DIB Sukuk Company, a special-purpose vehicle established in the Cayman Islands.

The issuance comes after the announcement that Sukuks, the sharia-compliant bonds, will benefit from tax relief on the LSE as part of the UK’s push to establish London as the Western Islamic finance capital.

The deal was led by DWS partner Rahail Ali, who said: “I think the listing on the London Stock Exchange is significant because it really augments London’s enthusiasm for Islamic finance.”

While London is striving to become prominent in this area of finance, both Luxemburg and Dublin are keen to have Sukuks on their stock exchanges.

Ali said: “London will not be immune from competition from other stock exchanges. Dublin and Luxemburg have been very active in this area.”

Allen & Overy, which worked on the first-ever Sukuk, for the Malaysian government in 2002, advised the joint lead managers of the transaction, Barclays, Citigroup and Standard Chartered Bank.

Allen & Overy senior associate Anzal Mohammed said: “I think we’ll see a lot more activity over the next year or two. We are seeing issuers that do not have to issue a Sukuk making this type of issuance now because they want to tap into this particular market.”